Apple's Adoption of Bluetooth Low Energy Paves Way for New Possibilities

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    As we noted last week, Apple has adopted new Bluetooth 4.0 chips in their latest MacBook Airs and Mac Minis. Bluetooth 4.0 notably includes the Bluetooth Low Energy specification which promises a low-power and low-latency implementation that opens the door to a number of new kinds of Bluetooth-powered devices.

    The best example of what will be possible comes from Apple's popular Nike+ accessory which isn't actually a Bluetooth Low Energy device. The Nike+ accessory is a sensor that sends signals from your shoe to your iOS device to track your daily runs. The information is sent from the sensor wirelessly to your iOS device where it's stored for later syncing. Nike's implementation is a proprietary one, though it is similar to Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth Low Energy standardizes this sort of functionality for a broad market of devices. Like Nike's shoe sensor, the new protocol promises the ability to power accessories for more than a year on a simple button cell battery without recharging.


    Since the technology is so new, there haven't been many product announcements for accessories with the technology. Casio was one of the few who has revealed a Bluetooth low-energy watch that will interface with your mobile phone.

    The device can receive notifications for incoming calls, SMS and email, and can also be used to locate your phone if its within range (~5 meters). Even with the incorporation of the Bluetooth technology, the watch will run for two years on its cell battery.

    Other possible uses commonly listed for Bluetooth Low Energy include:

    • Find Me - electronic leash applications
    • Proximity - wireless locking and unlocking, out of range alerts
    • Sports / Running - stats and vitals
    • Health - heart rate monitor, blood pressure, glucose monitors

    EETimes suggests one interesting indoor use for these sensors given their low cost and low maintenance requirements.
    Apple joined the Bluetooth board of directors just last month and it's likely that Bluetooth 4.0 will soon extend into their other devices beyond the MacBook Air and Mac mini. The Bluetooth site claims that virtually all new smart phones will include Bluetooth 4.0 by the end of 2012.

    Article Link: Apple's Adoption of Bluetooth Low Energy Paves Way for New Possibilities
  2. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Too bad Bluetooth 4.0's swiss cheese-like security is only marginally improved from earlier versions of the standard.
  3. macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2007
    This is what needs to happen

    Apple needs to put bluetooth 4.0 in the new Nano and then manufacture some amazing wireless headphones for working out. Why they haven't done this yet is beyond me. You can wear your Nano all the time and just put on your wireless headphones (add on accessory) and take a hike. It would be way better than running with it clipped with wires to your shirt.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    still you can not send/share music over bluetooth!
  5. Space-traveller, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011

    Oh man, I just bought a new MacBook Pro. Kinda wish I'd wait a little while, I mean, a battery that lasts for a year sounds so nice! Is it worth it on a Laptop though? Just curious if I spent my money on the right MBP.

    EDIT: It sounds like I'm talking about battery on the MBP. Lol, no I mean for the bluetooth devices.
  6. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
  7. macrumors 65816

    Jan 20, 2003
    Wow, interesting news post dissolved into glittery pieces on the 1st reply! Congrats! :D
  8. t0mat0, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    macrumors 601


    Aug 29, 2006
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 3, 2008
    With or without my permission?
  10. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Why would it need your permission?

    The Airport is transmitting public data to anyone who wants to read it.

  11. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    Wireless has its own share of issues. Keeping a BT device paired for A2DP streaming to a set of wireless headphones would have to impact battery time.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2011
    How about instead of that pie in the sky crap we get mouses with extended battery life. :)
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2007

    I created few years ago an application that scanned bluetooth devices. If a certain BT MAC was near, it opened the door.

    Problem was that it was way too slow to work in real life.

    if BT4 is fast, then maybe I could make it work again.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    I'd like to see an app for iPhone coupled with small stick-on or keychain accessories that'd allow you to locate your car keys, remote controls, etc.
  15. macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2003
    Canis Major
    So.. the BCM20702 gives Bluetooth 4.0.. while the BCM2070 in the MBPs earlier in the year gave Bluetooth 3.0? I feel a bit cheated :p

    Also there's the whole thing about Apple saying it only has 2.1+EDR.. confusing..
  16. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    "Computer. Locate Lieutenant Worf."
  17. macrumors 68020

    Mr. Gates

    Jun 17, 2009
    --Redmond --------- ----------------Washington---
    Longer lasting Bluetooth Headphones are all I want
  18. macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2009
    How about a wireless mouse that would last a year then? Wireless mice already last 6 months, now I guess we could extend that further.
  19. macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2010
    You would think they would get up to date with rSAP first so that a iPhone can be used in modern and hi end cars.
  20. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2009
  21. macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Bluetooth always on in your pants. Testicular cancer (And the female crotch cancers too) here we come


    Though I see this as Apple peripherals lasting longer on a single charge of the rechargeable batteries before you need to recharge. So less charge cycles for the batteries in a set time period is always nice.
  22. macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2005
    Apple should support or even make a Bluetooth (low energy) remote control for the iOS devices like the iPad and even the iPod touch and iPhone. That would be awesome for Keynote presentations. Something like this, but for iOS devices:

    Keyspan Wireless Presentation Remote for Conferences, Boardrooms and Classrooms

    And if Microsoft made PowerPoint for iOS, that would be the ultimate presentation tool.
  23. macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2006
    I've logged about 14,000 miles using the Nike+ kit ever since it was introduced about 5 years ago. And I've burned through at least a dozen of the Nike+ sensors. Never did I have one whose battery lasted a full year.

    Just sayin'...
  24. macrumors 65816

    Feb 22, 2011
    Just jump on the NFC bandwagon it's effortless pairing another NFC enabled device.
  25. macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2010

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